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Best MBA program: How to choose the best one for you


This guide outlines what to look for when choosing the best MBA program for your needs and career stage.

Pursuing your MBA may be a dream come true. Whether you’re hoping to qualify for higher-paying positions or striving to build your current resume, an MBA is a time-consuming but worthwhile investment in your education.

As a first step, most aspiring MBA students will be confronted with the question of which is the best MBA program to choose. There are many available programs that are perceived differently by industry professionals based on their quality. As you debate between programs, here are some helpful tips to ensure that you choose the best MBA program for you and your career goals.

How to choose the best MBA program for you

The type of MBA degree that you choose to pursue affects your network of professional connections and your job prospects after graduation according to CollegeData. Choosing the best MBA program that fits with your interests is imperative, as it will drive future decisions pertaining to your long-term career. There are a variety of good MBA programs on-the-market for you to choose from.

The most popular MBA specializations

Many business schools and universities have created a wide range of specializations to meet your individual needs.  In this day in age, the best MBA program isn’t a general degree that you obtain. Rather, an MBA is a graduate-level education that acts as a host for a variety of different specialties that will prepare you to advance even further in the professional world. Let’s take a look at the most common MBA subjects offered by most renowned universities and business schools.

General management

This is by far the most popular specialization that aspiring MBA students pursue. This field equips you with a broad-spectrum skill set, allowing you to be versatile in a number of business environments. Through this route, you’ll develop a well-rounded education in all things business management.

International business

If you’re seriously considering a career abroad, then you may want to consider this specialization as mandatory for the best MBA program for your needs. While you may not initially imagine yourself relocating for an opportunity outside of your home country, you should realize that many of the most exponentially-growing businesses in the United States have international offices that require a full staff.


One of the backbone fields of best MBA program offerings, finance is ideal for aspiring bankers, chief financial officers, finance managers, and financial controllers. You can expect to spend a lot of your time focused on data analysis, accounting, and statistics.

IT management

When it comes to business operations, a major percentage of your daily duties will involve technology. With a shift towards online communication and technologically-intensive protocol, an increasing need for IT managers has surfaced. In this particular specialization, you’ll learn everything from product development to analyzing collected data.

Human resources

For those who are people-persons, specializing in Human resources can be a rewarding career. This specialization focuses on topics like conflict resolution, outlining job responsibilities, boosting team morale, and team development. During your time specializing in HR, you can expect to collaborate with HR teams and large groups of employees in your professional career.

Operations management

If you enjoy streamlining company systems and procedures, then you may be able to make a career out of this niche strength. Operations management is an always-in-demand field that educates a student on how to optimize business production processes.

With an operations management specialization, you’ll spend your professional career-enhancing a business’s processes to save money, provide more safety, and protect their team of employees.

Hopefully, these example programs have sparked a desire or piqued your interest, so you can determine for the best MBA program offerings what specialization will best fit your goals. Note that it’s a possibility to obtain an MBA with dual specialization. In the context of an MBA, dual specialization can help to diversify your skills and improve your job-market versatility.

Salary expectations

While the salary portion shouldn’t be the only factor you consider in choosing an MBA program, it’s an important one. You’ll need to factor in the lifestyle and quality of life that you want to lead. Different MBA specialties compensate graduates differently. Choosing a specialty with an income that can support the lifestyle you desire is a necessity.

As you’ve discovered, there are a plethora of specialty programs out there for MBA students. Some tend to pay better than others. According to U.S. News, the top five industries that pay their employees the most generously on an annual basis include:

  • Consumer Packaged Goods
  • Healthcare
  • Technology
  • Financial Services
  • Consulting

When comparing those with an MBA to those with a bachelor’s degree alone, those with an MBA tend to make more than double the salary. If you hold a bachelor’s degree in your current position, you might want to consider obtaining your MBA to potentially double your salary. Remember, an MBA is a great way to advance in your current industry or switch career industries, altogether.

Conclusion on choosing the best MBA program

If you’ve been considering pursuing an MBA, you may be wondering if it’s really worth the time and financial investment. The truth is that you can benefit both educationally and financially from obtaining a higher degree. As you’ve discovered, there are a variety of programs offered, and thus a variety of routes to travel in your pursuit of a Master of Business Administration.

From Human Resources to IT management, you should choose a specialty that is geared towards your interests to make it the best MBA program for your goals. With a two-year investment in furthering your education, don’t settle for the speciality you’re only half-heartedly interested in. Choose a specialization you’re passionate about that will make the financial sacrifice worthwhile.

About Andrea Toulsen'

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